Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio

Plunging into the depths

Here we go again for the third and final Mercury retrograde of 2020. People often freak out when they hear the words ‘Mercury Retrograde’ but any retrograde is a chance to reflect, rethink, review, renew—any word beginning with re-.


When the planet of communication goes retrograde there are some general rules of thumb. Technology is one—try not to buy new technology at this time unless you absolutely have to. Also if you enter into contracts make sure you read them really carefully, or at least be comfortable with things changing down the track. (I moved house at the start of the June retrograde and didn’t get my internet connected until post-retrograde as I was superstitious about entering into a technology contract.) Plus travel plans can be delayed (although it’s not like we’re really going anywhere right now).


So now we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s look at the flavour of this particular retrograde.


Mercury spends a couple of years retrograding in the same element: two years of fire, then water, air and earth.


The water signs—Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces—are about feeling their way through life. They represent our emotional and intuitive sides, so any Mercury transit through a water sign (especially a retrograde) is about getting out of our thinking mind and into our thinking heart.


This is Mercury’s last retrograde in the water element before we shift into retrogrades in the air signs, bringing a bit of relief to the ol’ emotions. But before we get there, this retrograde in Scorpio will ensure we get to the bottom of things.

Let’s look at Scorpio. It’s ruled by Pluto; it’s element is water; it’s mode of expression is fixed, meaning that it is focused, determined and has staying power; it rules the eighth house of sex, death, transformation and shared power and resources. Scorpio is deep and powerful and knows that life is about change and transformation.


When Mercury is in Scorpio it becomes the detective. A person with Mercury in Scorpio in their birth chart wants to get to the bottom of things—and will. And so, as we enter into this retrograde, we all have the chance to put on our detective hats and go searching through our hidden feelings to see what else is there to clear or learn from. I have explained this to a few clients this week as heading to the bottom of the ocean where it is deep and dark to sift through the remains of a shipwreck. If you go in too quickly it may all collapse on you. But, if you go carefully and turn things over carefully you will be able to find some great treasures.


‘But Tanya, all I have done in 2020 is deep introspection into my values, emotions and psyche.’ Yes, yes, I hear and understand you but I don’t control the planets—I just report on what’s going on. Think of it as packing for 2021 and deciding what points of view, ways of thinking and emotional attachments you want to take with you, and what you want to leave behind (be prepared for that ex that you didn’t quite get over to appear).


On October 29 Mercury will shift back into Libra, allowing us to come up for air and gain a bit of perspective and balance, before stationing direct on November 3. This retrograde finishing in an air sign becomes a bit of a precursor to the shift of Mercury retrograding in the air signs.

Tips to manage the next three weeks:

- Don’t underestimate the value of talking to a counsellor or therapist to help you sort things out during this retrograde (or at any other time). If that’s not your thing, journalling or having deep conversations with a friend can be good.

- We store our emotions in the body (especially in the hips) so move it out with intuitive dance or exercise and stretch it out with yin yoga.

- Spending time in or near water can help (have a soak in the bath if you can).

- If you feel emotional or burst into tears for no particular reason then just go with it. Sometimes we don’t really need to know what we are releasing in order to get it out of our system.

- TRUST YOUR INTUITION! If your brain doesn’t know what to do, feel into what feels right.


If you have any planets in your chart between 25 degrees Libra and 11 degrees Scorpio you will feel the impact of this retrograde a little deeper. If you were born in the mid-late 70s it will probably cross Uranus, prompting very changeable thoughts and a desire for more freedom of expression. If you were born in the early 80s (like me) chances are Mercury will cross your Pluto and Saturn: use this time to get more precise with your thoughts and viewpoints and take the opportunity to plan out some long-term goals.


To find out how Mercury retrograde will play out in your birth chart and how to best work with the transit, book in for a birth chart reading.


Also keep in mind that Mars is retrograde at the same time, so we are concurrently working through all the Mars themes of energy, action and assertion. For more on the Mars retrograde check out my webinar (now half off).


On a global scale, Mercury goes direct on the day of the US election. With postal votes being the key to this election, there may be issues with ballots making it to where they need to go. Confusing messaging and candidates digging up their opponent’s ‘dirty secrets’ will be rife. There probably won’t be a final result for at least a few days. So if you are in this part of the world make sure you do your own research and get your vote in early.


The retrograde will also coincide with key dates of the Melbourne lockdown restrictions. The people making the decisions may change their minds about what to do, information could be withheld, directives may be muddled.


If it all feels too much, remember that when you emerge from this retrograde you will have uncovered some beautiful treasures.



Key dates:

Enters pre-retrograde shadow: 24 September

Station retrograde: 14 October at 11 degrees Scorpio

Station direct: 3 November at 25 degrees Libra

Leaves post-retrograde shadow: 21 November

(In the pre-retrograde shadow period we can get a few signposts of what we will be working through, post-retrograde is a chance to clean it all up properly.)


Would you love an overview of your important themes for the next 12 months, with guidance on how to make the most of them? Book in for a personal Year Ahead astrology reading.


If you want to go deeper into the archetypes of your chart and learn more about what makes you, you, then my Align to Self Cosmic Mentoring might be for you.

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